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Wednesday, November 23 2011

The Flight Into Egypt

The Messiah (see The Messiah's Royal Priesthood and Looking Up To The Messiah: How And When?) was born in Bethlehem, according to prophecy (see the Fact Finder question below). The location of the birth was accomplished by means of a census, as declared by Caesar Augustus, the first of the Roman emperors (see The Politics Of Rome and The Cleopatra Connection).

"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world [i.e. Roman geographic ignorance and political arrogance defined "the world" merely as the extent of their empire; see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire] should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee [see also The Prophet Of Galilee], out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1-7 KJV)

The first human witnesses of the Birth were nearby shepherds, "keeping watch over their flock by night" (which shepherds did not do in winter, or the Roman month of "December" - according to the historical evidence, Christ was born in early autumn). The shepherds arrived immediately after the Birth, while He was still in the manger of the inn.

Flight Into Egypt

"2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them." (Luke 2:8-20 KJV)

"He took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt ... that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son"

The shepherds were men of Judea - Jews (see also Who Were The First Jews?). The Messiah however is the Messiah of all of humanity (i.e. righteous Abraham was a "gentile" by birth; see 'Raghead' Racism). For that reason, God had "gentiles" come, as representatives of all other nations. This was accomplished by the Magi (see Why Did The Magi Come?), who arrived in Bethlehem months later. Their long journey from the east began at the time of the Birth. By the time that they arrived, the Messiah's family was in a house in Bethlehem, where, by then, the Christ was called a "young child," not a newborn infant in a manger ("they were come into the house, they saw the young child").

Egypt

"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." (Matthew 2:1-6 KJV)

It was then that "Herod the Great" (the only thing "great" about him was his evil; see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?) sought the Messiah, not to worship Him, but to kill Him. While the "wise men" from the east have been traditionally numbered at three ("we three kings of the orient"), primarily because of the three kinds of gifts that they brought ("gold, and frankincense, and myrrh"), the Bible doesn't record how many there were, except that there was more than one - there could have been two, three, or more.

"2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way." (Matthew 2:7-12 KJV)

Herod then committed the "slaughter of the innocents," which itself attests to the fact that the Messiah was then a "young child," not a newborn infant - the reason that Herod ordered the killing of all male children, "from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." Joseph was warned to take his family and flee to Egypt, so "he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt."

Flight To Egypt

"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." (Matthew 2:13-18 KJV)

The Messiah and His family remained in Egypt until the death of that Herod (see The Herods). When they found that another Herod then reigned in Judea, they returned to Galilee.

"2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:19-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Could anyone who read the Holy Scriptures at the time of the Messiah's first coming have known where He would be born and where He would live His life, including His time in Egypt?
See Why Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth And Capernaum?

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This Day In History, November 23

912: Otto I (the Great) was born. As German king, he was the Holy Roman emperor from 962 to 973 (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).

1248: Seville surrendered to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1510: Ottoman armies (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) sacked Kutaisi (today in European Georgia).

1531: In Switzerland, the Peace of Kappel was signed, ending the second civil war and ensuring Roman Catholic areas were recognized as part of the Swiss Confederation.

1616: Prospero Alpini died at age 63. The physician and botanist is credited with the introducing of coffee and bananas to Europe.

1654: French mathematician Blaise Pascal, 31, underwent a profound religious conversion. He abandoned science, stating that "the Christian religion obliges us to live only for God, and to have no other aim than Him."

1890: Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands at the age of 10 upon the death of her father William III. Her mother, Queen Emma, acted as regent until 1898.

1936: The U.S. abandoned the U.S. embassy in Madrid, Spain because of the civil war there.

1947: Officials at Jerusalem's Hebrew University first learned of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Originating sometime between 200 BC and 70 AD, they had been found the previous year by two Bedouin boys in a cave near Qumran (listen also to our Sermon The Dead Sea Scrolls).

1959: General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a "Europe, "from the Atlantic to the Urals."

1979: Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten, cousin of Queen Elizabeth.

1980: A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Eboli in southern Italy, killing 2,735 people and injuring at least 7,500. It was Europe's most severe earthquake since 1915.

1985: 58 people were killed when Egyptian commandos stormed a hijacked Egyptair airliner in Malta.

2005: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, thereby becoming the first woman to lead an African country.

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